Soufflé is undoubtedly a test of skill and commitment. We like to attempt making soufflé out of the sheer audacity of the project. Getting it to rise perfectly is part of the challenge that makes it such a fun activity. It feels good to conquer something epic together, even if it’s just a tiny dessert. Also, if it collapses, it still tastes amazing—just dump ice cream on top and pat yourself on the back for trying. At this point, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 Pinch kosher salt
- 6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Use a pastry brush to butter the inside of two 6-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter, being sure to fully coat the bottom and sides.
- Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon sugar into the first ramekin, swirling it around to make sure the inside is coated. Dump out excess sugar in the next ramekin and repeat. Discard any excess sugar. Refrigerate ramekins until ready to use, at least 15 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the egg yolks, cornstarch, espresso powder, and 1⁄3 cup sugar. Set aside.
- Heat milk with a pinch of salt until it’s steaming and gently simmering. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of hot milk to the egg yolk mixture, whisking quickly to combine. Add another 2 tablespoons of hot milk and quickly whisk, then stream in the remaining hot milk mixture while continuing to whisk.
- Once the milk has been incorporated, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and gently heat over medium-low, continuously whisking until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until combined.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the pastry cream so there is no space. Refrigerate until cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Use a soft spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the cream.
- Divide the mixture into the ramekins, filling to the top. Bake on a lower rack until risen and the top is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.